Thursday, June 16, 2011

My Little Darlin, PT day 25 by David

The sedation (versed) is slowly being decreased.  She was on maximum dose for several days/weeks at 30 mg / hr (this is a lot) and it is down to 5 mg / hr this morning.   She still gets intermittent morphine.  The nurses have to use clinical judgement when to do changes in her versed and give her morphine since she can not tell them what she is feeling.  Things that she does to indicate she is uncomfortable are increased breathing rate and increased blood pressure,  They will usually increase her meds slightly when she is being turned, bathed or having range of motion physical therapy.  She is having increased spontaneous movement but still will not make eye contact or follow commands (not that she would ever do what I say;).  I am anxiously waiting for that recognizing eye contact that will let me know she knows I am there.  I am hoping for it to be an ah ha moment but suspect it will be a gradual transition as everything else has been.  Her body continues to do well.  Her blood is very well oxygenated on 30% oxygen.  Her ventilator rate is down to 4 with her doing the rest (TIGT).  She should get her chest tubes out today or tomorrow(TIGT).  Still having fever, getting the chest tubes out may help this.  Her nutrition continues to do very well.  Her labs continue to do very well.

Even if she became fully aware today she still would have a long way to go.  The bone fractures should be healing.  Vertebral compression fracture should take up to six weeks to heal.  These are very painful when they first happen unless lying motionless in bed.  Hopefully it will be stable by the time she starts to get up and about.  It may require injection of glue but the longer she is in bed the less likely this is.  When she does start to get up and about she will be extremely weak.  Lying in bed as long as she has and will still be, she is losing a lot of muscle mass.  This will take work to get back and will be part of her rehab.  We still do not know what long term neurological problems she may have from her brain injury.  I am hopefully optimistic that this will be minimal but only time and rehab will tell.

For all of the guys reading this I may be about to get you into some trouble or in to another one of those uncomfortable spots we get ourselves into (like the anxiety provoking phrase you might hear from your wife "let's talk about our feelings".  Jan will actually say this to me just to watch me squirm and then laughs at me).   She has always loved to dance.  Does not matter what kind, if there is music she wants to dance.  As the spouse I am supposed to dance with her.  I do not like to dance,  no rhythm, no grace, no cool on the dance floor.  Just looks and feels like I am having an uncontrollable seizure.   She would always give me a hard time about not asking her to dance when the music starts.  Well several years ago I bit the bullet and surprised her with a few ball room dance lessons.  Figured we could learn a few cha cha and tango steps and that would earn some brownie points and I would not have to do that spontaneous dancing that I am so bad at.  Nope, did not happen that way.  We took lessons for years (seemed like a long time anyway) .  We learned all of the major ball room dances.  Yea I became a twinkle toes and she was happy.  Foxtrot, waltz, swing, cha cha, tango and rumba (never could get the hip action on this one).  Now many times when we would start a dance I would have to get her to tell me the beat.  One time she even talked me into going to a competition.  I won every category (because I was the only male there!!!!! and she made me wear a puffy shirt).  I think what finally got me out of taking the lessons was when we had a private lesson and she thought the instructor was hitting on me(it was a guy).   I will say I got a whole lot of brownie points for that ball room dancing stuff.

Over the past 25 days I have heard from many others that have had similar or worse tragedies happen to them or a family member.  I have heard from many cyclists or their families telling about how severely they were injured or killed by a car.  I have also heard from many not necessarily on a bicycle or exposed on the road but were injured or killed because of someone driving while using a cell phone.  I took a short walk outside yesterday, crossing the street I noticed as I had even before this happened to us, how many were driving while using their cells.  They did not notice me.  If anything good comes from this I hope that there will be continued increased awareness for cyclists, runners, walkers, workers and anyone else exposed to automobile traffic.  People driving need to understand what will happen to the person they hit, their families and themselves.  There are severe consequences traded for only a few seconds of time and you can not ever take it back.  Jan and I will live with this forever.   I also feel VERY strongly about outlawing the use of cell phones while driving and enforcing criminal (PUT IN PRISON FOR A LONG TIME) punishment if injuring someone with an automobile while using a cell phone.  It is as bad if not worse than drunk driving.  Do not be part of this problem!


I Love My Little Darlin and I would give anything to have her look me in the eyes,

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